As Jesus contemplated the cross while praying in Gethsemane, I sometimes wonder if He was thinking about the people He loved and the pain they endured because of Satan’s cruel power. Most recently, the sorrow of Mary and Martha at the loss of Lazarus – the pain so bad it caused Him to weep for them. But there were many others, too:
- Outcast women
- Blind and lame men
- Widows and orphans
By helping those in most need, He had given a taste of life as it was meant to be – no sickness, sadness, pain, rejection. He was doing so much good. Why stop now? Why the cross? It had to do with the spiritual battle we cannot see, but of which He was keenly aware. He knew that doing good and teaching truth would not be enough to take the world back from Satan’s power. The only way to win was to die.
Maybe, as He prayed “not my will, but Yours be done”, He was remembering those He had helped in His few years on earth. Then He thought of the broken world still full of pain and suffering. He thought of us – you and me – and wanted us to have the same opportunity of new life and joy Lazarus, lepers, and the Samaritan Woman had.
So, He chose the cross. For us. Offering forgiveness and relationship to all who would see and believe. The cross – His blood-stained invitation to life as it was meant to be.
“There is no sin, no weakness of soul or mind for which You do not have an adequate remedy, purchased by Your death.” – Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen